Food is awesome, we all love it, that’s why we all also find it difficult to lose weight. It also doesn’t help that we are constantly bombarded with information about what foods are good/bad for us and half of the time the information contradicts itself. With all this going on how are we meant to know what we are doing is going to work? Well the NHS gives 12 lifestyle changes that will all help you to lose weight but with minimal effort. Here they are;
1. Breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day
It may seem logical to think by missing breakfast it will help lose weight, after all its one lot of calories that you aren’t consuming. However, you could be missing out on essential nutrients. You will also be more likely to snack more throughout the day because you feel hungry.
2. Small and often, it’s that simple
Eating small portioned meals at regular times throughout the day helps burn calories at a faster rate as it keeps your metabolic rate high. It also reduces the temptation to snack on foods high in fat and sugar which is a killer for anyone trying to lose weight.
3. 5 Portions of fruit and veg a day is still relevant today
Fruit and veg are low in calories and high in fibre – essential ingredient for successful weight loss, high fibre foods make you feel fuller for longer with little calorific expense. They also contain plenty of vitamins and minerals.
4. Exercise, just do it
Exercise is vital to losing weight and then keeping it off. As well as providing a number of benefits to your health, exercise can help burn off the calories you can't cut through diet alone, allowing you to have a more enjoyable diet. Exercise can be daunting, however you don’t need to run a marathon, simple things like taking the stairs instead of the lift or getting off the bus a stop early and walking the rest all add up and help.
5. Drink, drink, drink
Sometimes when you feel hungry you are actually feeling thirsty. You can end up consuming unnecessary calories when a glass of water is really what you need. A simple tip is also to drink a glass of water before every meal, this will make you fuller much quicker and will reduce the portion size that you need.
6. Eat fibre, and plenty of it
Foods containing lots of fibre can help keep you to feel full for much longer, which is ideal for losing weight as it stops you from snacking. Fibre is only found in food from plants, such as fruit and veg, oats, wholegrain bread, brown rice and pasta, and beans, peas and lentils.
7. Always read the label
Knowing how to read food labels can help you choose healthier options. Some low-fat options can be very deceiving, to make up for the fat lost many foods a pumped full of artificial sugars which can actually make the food even more fattening than the low-fat option. Use the calorie information to work out how foods fit into your daily calorie allowance on the weight loss plan.
8. Smaller is better
Using smaller plates will encourage you to eat smaller portions. By using a smaller plate or bowl, you will be able to gradually get used to eating smaller portions without even realising. It takes around 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain it's full, that means if you eat your food quickly you may be eating more than you need to feel satisfied.
9. Don’t be too strict
Don't deprive yourself of any foods on your weight loss plan, especially the ones you like most. By telling yourself you aren’t allowed certain foods its only going to make you want them more. Dieting shouldn’t be a way of punishing yourself, if you cut out everything thing you enjoy then it because unsustainable. You have to think long term if you want to be truly successful with your weight loss.
10. If you don’t have it, you can’t eat it
To avoid any temptation, you may have, try to not stock highly calorific snack foods – such as chocolate, biscuits, crisps and sweet fizzy drinks – at home. Instead, opt for healthy snacks, such as fruit, unsalted rice cakes, oat cakes, unsalted or unsweetened popcorn, and fruit juice. It’s simply if it’s not there you can’t eat it.
11. Put the glass down
A standard glass of wine can contain as many calories as a piece of chocolate. Over time, drinking too much can easily contribute to weight gain. 1 Less pint of larger in the pub could save you a whopping 10% of your recommended daily calorie intake.
12. Look to the future
Try to plan all your meals for the week, making sure you stick to your calorie allowance. You may find it helpful to make a weekly shopping list of all the ingredients you need, that way you won’t buy stuff you don’t need that could put you off track. Preparing your lunch for the next day is also useful, the salad sandwich you buy everyday could actually be highly calorific as most of them contain a large serving of calorific sauces and spreads.